Audio is available for this interview:
Interview with Tom Allen by Don Nicoll
Summary Sheet and Transcript
February 2, 2004
© Bates College. This transcript is provided for individual Research Purposes Only; for all
other uses, including publication, reproduction and quotation beyond fair use, permission must
be obtained in writing from: The Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library,
Bates College, 70 Campus Avenue, Lewiston, Maine 04240-6018.
Tom Allen was born April 16, 1945 in Portland, Maine to Charles W. “Charlie” and Genevieve
(Lahee) Allen. His great-grandfather was John Calvin Stevens, a well known Maine architect
whose daughter, Margaret, married Neil Allen (Tom’s grandparents), who owned F.O. Bailey’s
antiques and auction services for many years. Tom graduated from Bowdoin and went on to be a
Rhodes Scholar, studying in the class immediately behind Bill Clinton. He worked on Muskie’s
1970 senatorial reelection campaign and on the early part of the presidential campaign. He later
attended Harvard law school and returned to Maine to practice law. He is married to his
childhood sweetheart, Diana. At the time of this interview he was serving as a U.S. Congressman
Scope and Content Note
Interview includes discussions of: family and educational background; 1970 Senate campaign;
and early 1972 presidential campaign.
Allen, Genevieve (Lahee)
Allen, Margaret Stevens
Allen, Neil Woodside
Browning, Robert, 1812-1889
Clinton, Bill, 1946-
Coffin, Frank Morey
Cox, Louis Black
Curtis, Kenneth M., 1931-
Daggett, Athern P.
Eisenhower, Dwight D. (Dwight David), 1890-1969
Goldwater, Barry M. (Barry Morris), 1909-1998
Hall, Lawrence Sargent
Johnson, Lyndon B. (Lyndon Baines), 1908-1973
Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963
Lake, Anthony “Tony”
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865
McGovern, George S. (George Stanley), 1922-
Mitchell, George J. (George John), 1933-
Muskie, Edmund S., 1914-1996
Nixon, Richard M. (Richard Milhous), 1913-1994
Petit, Michael R.
Stevens, John Calvin
Stevenson, Adlai E. (Adlai Ewing), 1900-1965
Webber, Edwin “Ike”
Don Nicoll: It is Monday, the 2nd day of February 2004. We are in the offices of Congressman
Tom Allen on Oxford Street in Portland, Maine; Don Nicoll is interviewing Congressman Allen.
Congressman, would you state your full name, date of birth, and the names of your parents, and
the place of your birth.
Tom Allen: Thomas H. Allen, April 16, 1945, born in Portland. Charles W. Allen was my
father, he married the girl from Texas, Genevieve Lahee was her name, and they were married
for sixty-four years, I think.
DN: How do you spell her name?
TA: Lahee is L-A-H-E-E.
DN: And she was from Texas. How did they meet?
TA: They met when she was at Radcliffe and one of her friends, Leonora - I'm blanking on the
last name - had her home for Thanksgiving. I think she was a freshman, I think she was a
freshman, it was her freshman year at Radcliffe, though it might have been her sophomore year,
and Leonora, Leonora Lincoln lived right across the street from my dad's family. And so they
wound up, Leonora had a party and I remember that my grandmother used to say, “How did you
like Leonora's friend?” to my father. And he said something dismissive like, “Not much” or
something. But they went to the Portland-Deering Thanksgiving Day game the next day and
apparently he liked her a lot better after that and that was the start of the relationship.
DN: Was he living up on Craigie Street then?
TA: The family was at Craigie Street, he was at Bowdoin. I think he was, he was a year ahead
of her in college.
DN: Now you come from a family with a long and distinguished history in Portland. One
great-grandfather was John Calvin Stevens, and the other, the grandfather was Neal Allen.
TA: Yeah, John Calvin Stevens’ daughter Margaret, one of three daughters, he also had a son,
married Neal Allen, my grandfather. So Neal and Margaret lived on Craigie Street for sixty plus
DN: And Neal Allen was very active in municipal government.
TA: Yes, he was. He was one of the moving forces behind getting away from the mayor form
of government to the city council system which was adopted I think in 1922. He was a member
of the first city council elected in Portland, and he was the second council chair elected I think in
19-, chosen in 1923. And then he spent I think several decades on the planning board after he
got off the city council. So he, you know, he had a long, very long history in municipal
government. And he was the owner of F.O. Bailey's, the antique business.
DN: Was it an auction house at that time, too, or an antique -?
TA: Yes, yes, he sold antiques and also did auctions.
DN: Now, was he a Republican?
TA: I'm pretty sure he was a Republican. Everyone was a Republican, sometimes I think, you
know, I mean from all I've heard, in the early part of the twentieth century. My father was a
Republican, though he later reformed.
DN: Now, did he switch over first, or did you?
TA: No, you know, it's hard to say, because I really don't know quite when he switched. I
remember, my earliest memories of presidential elections are the two Eisenhower-Stevenson
races and I remember that in 1952 and 1956 my dad was for Eisenhower and my mother was for
Stevenson, and passionately so. And then in 1960 I really don't know who my father was for.
My mother was for Kennedy, but I just don't know what happened to dad. But as the Vietnam
war wound on in the mid-sixties, and I know he didn't vote for Goldwater in '64, but he really
became a pretty passionate Democratic and anti-war activist despite working in the largest
corporate law firm in the state of Maine, Pierce Atwood.
DN: One of whose founders was a Democrat, but you'd hardly know it.
TA: Sure, you're right.
DN: Now your mother was a Democrat, but did she come from a Democratic family?
TA: I don't even know what my grandparents political affiliation was. My grandfather taught,
Lahee, Frederick Lahee, taught geology at Harvard and then when she, my mother was quite
young, moved the family to Dallas where he became a geologist for the Sun Oil Company. And
sometime in that whole time he wrote a textbook, a handbook, called Field Geology which was, I
would say for decades, the standard work in the field. Then it was translated into, I don't know,
close to thirty different languages. I remember in the house we used to have, I don't think we
have it any more, but we used to have a copy of Field Geology in Arabic. But it was quite a
standard, standard book.
DN: Now you were brought up in a family in which your parents obviously had a strong
interest in public debate and public policy, and in which your mother and father differed at least
on a couple of elections. Did they have debates at home that you recall?
TA: Well, I remember they did in the fifties, but I don't, and they would talk about politics
and they would, dad would, when dad was on the city council from I think '64 to '70 and the
council chair in '65-'66, and I remember he would tell us stories about what was going on on the
city council and some of, you know, the peculiarities, both of members of the public and
members of the council. But I think in the sixties they were more or less of the same mind in
terms of national politics. I’m pretty . . . . I don't remember debates but I do remember them,
you know, I was seven in 1952 and, you know, eleven four years later and I do remember their
talking back and forth about Eisenhower and Stevenson. I don't remember what they said, but.
DN: Did you get much pushing to pursue public service?
TA: No, no, I mean really. My. . . . I was encouraged to do well but I really wasn't, I didn't
feel pushed to do specific things.
DN: You went to Deering High School.
TA: I did.
DN: You were an active athlete.
TA: Yeah, I ran football and track, and captained those teams; graduated in 1963.
DN: And then off to Bowdoin.
TA: Off to Bowdoin, four years there. And same sports, I always had a sport I was doing,
football or track, indoor and outdoor track, and you know, I used to tell people when I was
growing up I played sports and read books. I did a lot of both.
DN: Did your parents actively encourage you in your reading?
TA: Yeah, I'm sure they did. My father and mother, particularly my mother, used to say that
when I was an infant my father would read Robert Browning to me. Now, I think I know a few
of the poems. I don't, obviously I don't remember, but there are some real pounding rhythms in
Tennyson or Browning that, in a few of the poems, that I could imagine my father reading to an
infant. But I was encouraged to read but I don't think it really, I took, it didn't take much
encouragement. I just read a lot.
DN: Your mother was particularly active in the League of Women Voters, as I recall.
TA: Yeah, she, my mother was very active in the Portland league. I think when they first
moved back to Portland it was Norton and Ginny Lamb somehow latched onto them right away
and welcomed them. Norton Lamb was a real estate broker, they lived in Falmouth. Ginny was
active in the League of Women Voters so she got my mother into the league.
And my mother wound up being president of the greater Portland league and an active board
member for a long time, and active in the state League of Women Voters as well. She, her
specialty that I recall most was writing pamphlets for the league, voter education materials,
particularly one little brochure called "How a Bill Becomes a Law". And I suspect that the
legislature, I'm pretty sure the legislature ordered copies each year and it was handed out as an
educational tool. And I just remember that after every legislative session at some point, you
know, I think I'm probably remembering the 1960s but could be later as well as earlier, she
would check the changes that had been made by the state legislature and change the brochure
and it would get rolled out and rolled out again.
DN: You mentioned earlier discussions around the table at home of the presidential campaigns,
and you were nine roughly in 1954 when Ed Muskie was -
TA: Nine. I don't remember conversations about that particular race. I just don't, I don't
remember. And I really, I don't remember conversations about the 1960 presidential election
either. I mean I just, it's gone by. They probably had, I'm sure they had discussions.
DN: Did you get much emphasis on politics in Maine at Deering? Elizabeth Ring?
TA: Elizabeth Ring was the history teacher. And actually one of my good friends at Deering
was very interested in history, Jim Burns, and he's still one of my best friends. He was a
Philadelphia lawyer for years and years and years, and he's now moved back and lives in South
Freeport. But he and I would talk politics and we would, you know, I know we were reading the,
I know in high school I was reading the newspapers and he and I would talk about what was
going on, and we would talk about history. And I had other friends that I wouldn't talk about
that with but we'd do, you know, sports and other things. But Jim was sort of my, you know,
political conversationalist I guess I'd say.
DN: During that period, when you were in high school, you did not get involved in political
campaigns I take it?
TA: No, no. I really didn't.
DN: And at Bowdoin you majored in?
TA: I went there thinking I'd be a history major, I took a freshman English class and was
swept away by the quality of the teaching, and so I wound up an English major with a
government minor. Bowdoin was very exciting for me, I mean absolutely very exciting
DN: Who were some of the teachers that most influenced . . . ?
TA: In the English department the two that I probably took the most courses from, Lawrence
Sargent Hall and Louis Cox, and both of them were terrific. Roger Howell taught, I took a
history course from Roger Howell. And there were, I mean, John Rensenbrink, Athern Daggett
in the gov department. I took political theory from John Rensenbrink; I took Constitutional law
from Athern Daggett. I took, what else? A variety.
DN: At that time were you thinking of going into the practice of law?
TA: When I was in college I had, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do. I thought about being a
lawyer, my father was a lawyer, I had some sense of what that was like. And my uncle Neal who
had also gone to Bowdoin, my father had graduated in '34 and my uncle Neal a few years later, I
think the class of '40, but he was a professor at Union College and I thought about doing that.
But probably by my senior year I pretty much knew I was going to law school, because even
though I had enjoyed the English major I didn't see myself teaching English, and I didn't see
myself teaching government. I didn't feel like I had a field that I was so passionate about that I
wanted to spend my life doing that. But those were the two things that I was playing around
DN: And you decided to apply for a Rhodes scholarship?
TA: I did. I remember, I think I was a, it was late in my sophomore year when our exchange
student from Belgium, in my fraternity, came up and said, “People tell me you're Bowdoin's next
Rhodes Scholar, you're going to be Bowdoin's next Rhodes Scholar.” Never had crossed my
mind. I didn't, I guess I knew what Rhodes scholars were, but it hadn't, just hadn't crossed my
mind. And anyway, so I eventually somehow wound up talking to Roger Howell who'd been
elected in 1956 or 1958 from Bowdoin, so he encouraged me. And so that became during the,
during my second half of my junior year that became something I thought, ‘well, maybe that
would be something I should try’. You sort of have to decide, if you don't decide by the spring,
you come back to school and, because the applications are due pretty soon after you get back
your senior year.
DN: And you were appointed.
TA: I was selected. It was a very unusual state. At that time, basically two people from each
of the New England states were chosen and then we went to Boston for the regional. My year,
unlike any other year I'm familiar with, there were no other applicants in Maine, so Maine sent
just one, so there were eleven candidates. And, yeah, it went well, it went well. And I, you
know, I still to this day remember, as you can imagine, the interview and the surrounding events
were a fairly intense experience. I do remember a lot about that pretty well. And so when I won
I went back and told Diana, my girlfriend then, my fiancée probably.
DN: Did you know Diana before going to Bowdoin?
TA: Oh yeah, we met in the seventh grade at Lincoln Junior High School and started going
out in the eighth grade.
(Pause for interruption.)
DN: We were talking about Diana, your wife, and when you met her.
TA: Well, we met in the seventh grade and we were sort of, we sort of became in the same
sort of circle of friends, and so I was pretty interested in her from the beginning. And about a
year later we started going out together and that pretty much continued to this day.
DN: That's a long relationship.
TA: That’s a long relationship.
DN: But when you came back from the interview and had won the selection as Rhodes
Scholar, you let her know.
TA: Yeah, she was, she had dropped out of Wellesley after three years, and she was living and
working in Dorchester. And I remember telling her, and then my Uncle Neal and Aunt Alice
were living in Cambridge and I was staying with them overnight, so then I went back and told
them about it. But it was very exciting, to say the least.
DN: And you went that summer?
TA: We left, no, we left at the end of September.
DN: Now, you married then, or?
TA: No, no, you couldn't be married, so one of the things it meant, and we knew this, was
deferring getting married for a year. And so, but anyway, so I went at the end of September and
then came back, you know, after the first year came back to wedding preparations and we got
married on July 27th of 1968.
DN: Now, you were with an interesting collection of scholars, as is always the case, one of
them being Bill Clinton.
TA: Clinton came the year later. He was elected in '68. So after Diana and I got married we
worked for, we both worked for Ken Curtis that summer for a couple of months, a month before
the wedding and a month afterwards. And she was working in his office I think doing typing and
clerical work and I was writing a paper for Ken on what other states had done with respect to the
State Housing Authority. And that was almost finished when I left, but Peter Bradford came in
and finished it up and it became, you know, the foundation for the Governor Curtis appeal to the
legislature to create the Maine State Housing Authority, which then was created and since has
But Diana and I went back in September again of '68 after we were married, and we linked up
with a number of people in my class who now had been married, there were a whole bunch of
marriages that summer. And the three people in the class of '68 that I got to know best were
John Isaacson, who came from Lewiston and went to Dartmouth, his best friend from Dartmouth
was Bob Reich, later the secretary of labor, and Reich and Clinton, Bill Clinton became very
close on the trip over, so Isaacson, Reich and Clinton were kind of a trio, a visible trio at Oxford,
and they were the three I knew best in the class of '68. You tend to form a very strong bond with
people in your own class, and to know some others in the other classes but not quite as well.
DN: And Reich had another Maine connection in clerking for Judge Coffin.
TA: After that, after that, yeah, later. I think every, all of us went to law school after Oxford.
But Clinton and Reich and Isaacson stayed for two years; I stayed for three, so I overlapped their
DN: And after those three years you went directly to law school?
TA: No, George Mitchell hired me to work for Ed Muskie. I was going to take a year off,
there'd been some confusion about my transcript. Harvard Law School said they didn't get it,
Bowdoin assured me they had sent it, but anyway, for whatever reason, I could have waited a
little bit to hear whether there were openings, but I just decided I could take a year off anyway.
And my father said, well, let me speak to George Mitchell, and so George hired me and I worked
for two months on the senator's reelection effort here in Maine September and October.
DN: That was the 1970 campaign.
TA: Nineteen seventy. And then I went down to Washington, I worked for a month on the
staff of the Senate Committee on Intergovernmental Relations, then I went down to L Street, K
Street, it was L Street?
DN: L Street.
TA: L Street, the office of the presidential campaign where I worked for you as I recall, doing
research-related things for the presidential campaign. And then early in 1971, as I recall, the
presidential campaign was short of money, the research people kind of faded away. I went back
to the Hill to work under Charlie Micoleau doing constituent related matters, and then I really
decided, I was getting antsy, I was convinced that Muskie would be the Democratic nominee,
you know, in the spring of 1971 it just seemed like no one else was going to have a chance. But
I, and I was afraid I would never get to law school if I hung around doing politics, and I felt I
was getting older, and already had three years of graduate work, so. So I left in July, I think late
July of '71 and went to Harvard Law School.
DN: I'd like to drop back just to the Ken Curtis involvement. How did you make the decision
or how were you recruited to go to work for him?
TA: I don't remember. I really don't remember. But I knew by then I was very interested in
government work. I mean, I was affected by the Kennedy-Johnson period, I felt that was the
way to make a contribution to the larger society. How I got the job with Ken Curtis for the
summer, I have no idea. If I were guessing I would say maybe I learned something about what
we would now call internships and pursued it, but I don't, I really don't remember.
DN: And you came to the Muskie office through your father and George Mitchell. When did
you first meet Ed Muskie?
TA: I met him out at the Exit 8 Howard Johnson's or one of those hotels. Charlie Lander, who
used to drive Ed around, was just a wonderful human being and I somehow, Charlie picked me
up and we drove out there. And I remember Charlie said, “Senator, this is Tom Allen, he's
coming to work for you.” And instead of saying, ‘that's great, I hope you have a great time’, he
turned to me and said, “Can you get me a couple of aspirin?” So I went trotting off to talk to the
clerk, you know, someone behind the counter, and eventually found the aspirin and brought it
DN: And passed your first test.
TA: Passed my first test, I guess. No pleasantries, just, you know, get right onto, onto
DN: Had you ever seen him before?
TA: Oh, I'm sure I'd seen him before. I don't remember a prior contact. I'm quite sure that
was the time that I met him. I don't remember meeting him before that.
DN: Had your father prepared you at all for what he might be like?
TA: No, my father never said unkind things about people really. And I think the senator was,
you know, obviously a man of enormous talent and determination and strength, but a little
cranky, you know, just a little cranky and everyone who worked for him kind of got to know that
side of him. And I really don't know, but he never seemed to me to be what you would call
gregarious, you know. I think he was a, my impression was always he was someone who was
doing work that he loved but that didn't quite fit the public demands, the being sociable, the
being “on” all the time didn't quite fit his personality.
DN: After you were hired, you went to Washington.
TA: After the presidential campaign.
DN: After the presidential campaign.
TA: I'm sorry, after the senatorial campaign. I remember two things that are worth
mentioning about that senatorial campaign, actually three: he was running against a school
teacher, what was his name, Don?
DN: That was Neal Bishop.
TA: Neal Bishop. One of the funniest pieces of campaign literature I've ever seen was a little
brochure they put out called "Neil Bishop in the White House With President Nixon". It had a
picture of Neal Bishop next to a bust of Lincoln in the Capitol rotunda and the caption
underneath was, "Some people think Neal resembles Abraham Lincoln. You can judge for
yourself by comparing Neal to this bust of Lincoln in the Capitol rotunda." And then the final
photo was a picture of Neal with President Nixon in the Oval Office and the caption underneath
said, "Please call me Dick, the president said to Neil Bishop." It really was a priceless piece of
But I also remember two things: I remember advancing the Cherryfield, the Narraguagus High
School commencement or some sort of address. Maybe that was, no, that might have been in the
spring actually, because it was a commencement address. That's later, that must have been
sometime when I was just up from Washington to help out, yeah, that must have been in the
spring of '71.
DN: In the campaign, did you do advance work during the '70 campaign?
TA: It's a little fuzzy. It's a little fuzzy. I did whatever I was asked. I don't remember.
DN: By George or Charlie Micoleau, or?
TA: Yeah, yeah, and I honestly don't remember a lot. I might have done some advance work
but I think, I just don't remember. The one event I do remember that is really quite vivid was
Muskie's 1970 election eve speech in Cape Elizabeth. I forget whose house it was but I was in
the room. I remember Muskie getting very upset with this young speech writer who, Bob
Shrum, who had done a draft of the speech, and of course Shrummy has since gone on to some
great success and notoriety both, but at that moment there was, you know, a lot of -
DN: Did you encounter Goodwin?
TA: Richard Goodwin was there, yeah, Richard Goodwin was there. I was sort of in the
background, I felt privileged to be there. I don't think I had much of a function except to watch.
DN: The house by the way was Chris Pachios' house.
TA: Oh, was it? Okay.
DN: Yeah, Harold Pachios' father's house.
TA: But that was a, and that speech, you know, propelled Muskie to the front of the pack for
the '72 nomination, because it was in such startling contrast to the, the Democrats had been given
a half hour on the national network, from the national networks, and the Republicans had as
well. And as I recall, what the president did is to tape a, take a tape of a rally speech to the
Republican faithful that he'd given, and it didn't work on television at all. And then it was
followed by Ed Muskie calmly talking with a fireplace, you know, the fire in the fireplace behind
him about how we need to pull the country together, and it was a very powerful event.
DN: After the gubernatorial race and that speech, you went to Washington and worked for the
senator, both on the Hill and downtown. Who was the head of the Intergovernmental Relations
Committee staff at that time?
TA: I think Ty Brown was. I may be wrong. No, no, no it wasn't.
DN: Ike Webber, or Charlie Smith?
TA: Don't remember. I was only there for a month, and I've forgotten. Ty Brown was one of
the presidential types who came on later so, but I don't remember that. I remember more about
the presidential work and about the work I did for Charlie Micoleau, but that first month is pretty
much a blur.
DN: Well, let's start with the work you did in the research section.
TA: Well, when I was down in the presidential campaign, you know, we did different kinds of
things and I don't remember, you know, I mean I know we reported to you, Don, and I know we
did different kind of, different kinds of issues research. I don't remember much about it. The
most exciting thing we did was the preparation of talking points for the senator, because he was
going to take a trip to what was then West Germany, the Soviet Union, Egypt and Israel. And
Judy Davison and I were given the task of pulling this thing together, and as a result we got entré
to some very important people in Washington. And we broke it up into different parts and we,
you know, worked on one part or the other and then edited each other's work as I recall, I don't
remember, I don't remember just how the process got going. But I do remember a couple of
things, I remember talking to Paul Warnke in his office. I remember, geez, I want to say Mort
Halperin but I'm not -
DN: Yeah, that would be right.
TA: Maybe, and then the most startling interview I had, which I did alone, was going to meet
with Clark Clifford. And he, his law firm, you walked into the law firm and it was all wood and
red leather as far as I, something like that as I recall, and it exuded wealth. And I remember
going into his office and talking to him about whatever it was, probably the Soviet Union but I'm
not sure. And he sat behind this enormous desk which had no paper on it that was white or 81/2
by 11. It was, the entire top of the desk was consumed, was covered with these little pink slips
representing phone calls with a paper weight on them. And so he'd have, I don't know, I mean
forty or fifty piles of pink slips, each with a paper weight on them. And clearly, he spent most of
his time on the phone; at least that was what you would conclude by being there. But no, that
was all, that was all very exciting. And Charlie Micoleau assured us later that, at least I think it
was Charlie, that the senator had used that material on the trip, and that . . . .
DN: I can tell you he read it.
TA: Oh, good.
DN: He read it as we went. Can you describe not just Clark Clifford's desk but his demeanor
in talking with you?
TA: Well, considering who I was he was quite polite, actually. He, you know, I don't
remember a lot about the conversation but, yeah, he certainly, I knew I was talking to someone
of great importance. And he, you know, kind of conducted himself as you would expect
someone like that to be. And, whereas some of the other people we talked to were a little more
down to earth, you know.
DN: Who was in the same law firm.
TA: Yeah, yeah.
DN: Did you talk with, well you worked some with Tony Lake.
TA: Yes, yes, we did work with Tony Lake and I know we talked with him, and I don't
remember quite how he fit into the project, but he was then working for the presidential
campaign or assisting somehow as I recall.
DN: During this period, did you have any more encounters with the senator, subsequent to the
aspirin (unintelligible word)?
TA: He periodically, I mean I think I mentioned before, you know, advancing in the spring
sometime, advancing that trip in Cherryfield, and I do remember that. But it was the case that I
didn't see him all that often, you know, because I was working in the vineyards and he was
running around. And now that I'm a member of Congress I understand this, you know, better
than I did then.
DN: Tell us about advancing Narraguagus High School.
TA: Narraguagus High School was quite a trip. I think, what I did, I can't remember how I
got to Bangor but I know, anyway I wound up having a car, I was to pick up the senator, I don't
know whose car it was. But I wound up meeting them on a little landing strip, I mean just a little
landing strip somewhere west of Cherryfield as I recall. And we went, I picked them up, this
little plane came down on this patch of asphalt in the wilderness and George Mitchell was there
and the senator and someone else, though to this day am I'm not quite sure who it was. So I had
already been to the high school and kind of checked out what the facility looked like and so
forth, and it looked fine to me and so I drove him back and he did his speech and it was, you
know, it's a good speech, good speech.
What I remember most is driving back on Route 9 to Bangor, and Route 9 then was not as
straight as it is today, and it certainly had fewer lights and it was a dark, not a stormy night but it
was a dark night and the road is winding, and I'm driving and in the back I've got Senator Muskie
and George Mitchell, and one other person. Well, I know they wanted me to high tail it along,
but to be honest I was afraid I was going to kill the senator. We were driving, it was just a road I
was unfamiliar with so I was driving around the speed limit or not much over it. And I could
feel the antsyness in back of me, but I just sort of, I thought I'd rather get them there alive than
go off the road. But I do remember it was a long, long drive and one that, you know, as I say,
without knowing the road it was just, it was a challenging drive.
DN: Were there specific comments about your slow driving?
TA: I don't remember specific comments, but if something was said, whatever was said I kind
of got the feeling that I needed to step on it. I mean, it was after dark and I think we were all
staying in Bangor that night as I recall, but I don't remember. I wish I had a better memory for
some of the details of my life.
DN: What, what do you remember about the mood in the presidential campaign while you
were still there? You left by September of '71?
TA: I left at the end of July in '71. And I remember, well, I remember that the people who
had been with the senator for a long time, you and several other people from Maine, you all had
sort of a way of working and a rhythm that you had developed with the senator over a long
period of time. And then you had the people who were joining for the presidential race and, a lot
I remember to this day, we had some sort of party, outdoor party, probably in the early summer
of '72 and this was, you know, just a social event, and we played touch football. And I'll tell
you, I remember that was a, that was an intense game of touch football. I remember Ty Brown
and I just absolutely colliding in mid air, and it was, it was to, you know, my memory is that all
this ambition and drive, the new people, they were going to show the people from Maine how to
run this national campaign, and so there was a source of a little tension there.
I remember George being seen by both sides as someone who might be able to, when he finally
came down that he'd be able to bridge the gap. I wasn't on the “inside” inside obviously, but
there was this kind of pulling and hauling. Now that I've been around for a while I understand
that this is the norm, you know, that in every presidential race you have these issues about
people who have been with the candidate for a long period of time and then, kind of the national
types who tend to think that they know best and they've been through more of these campaigns
and they're going to run the show. But I remember Berl Bernhard was running the campaign, but
I don't really, I just, I don't really have a sense of how he was operating vis-a-vis you or other
people, that's all pretty vague. I do remember the break in.
DN: Tell us about the break in.
TA: Well, the break in. I remember Berl one morning saying that, calling us all together and
saying that the night before they had found the door to the campaign office taped open and that
after surveying the room, the campaign office, it appeared that nothing had been taken but eight
hundred and fifty copies or so had been run off on the copy machine. And that was, and he
reminded us we had to be very careful. But in the light of the Watergate burglars, I've always
thought that probably that was one of their earlier operations, because my memory is that it was
consistent, I don't remember all the details now, but that it was consistent with the evolution of
the burglars and uh, as they started going. I know that the Nixon team feared Muskie as an
opponent and wanted to do him in, and we know later that they did, Donald Segretti and others.
DN: This is a minor point, but I wanted to go back to the touch football game. You said the
summer of '72. Was it the summer of ‘72 or the summer of '71?
TA: Oh, '71, '71, right, right, early summer of '71, because it was warm and we were outdoors,
and I didn't get there until November so it wasn't November.
DN: You went to law school, you went to Harvard, and were not involved in, heavily in the
campaign after that.
TA: No, the one thing I did do, Don, was I, when the, during, before the New Hampshire
primary I took, I don't know, two or three weekends off and went up and did door-to-door for the
senator. And I remember it was after William Loeb and the Manchester Union Leader were
trying to undermine him and they did that famous Canuck letter, it had been printed. And I
remember, you know, just before the primary I was out there going through some street, some
place in Manchester and I came across a group of kids probably ten or eleven. And they said,
“Well who are you campaigning for?” And I said, “Ed Muskie.” And they said, “Oh, Muskie
hates Frenchmen.” I mean, and I just, you know, couldn't believe it. I mean, again, part of the
dirty tricks that -
DN: Was this in a Franco-American section of the city?
TA: I don't remember, I don't remember, but I remember being astonished that an eleven year
old boy would say that. And I think he was about eleven.
DN: It was one of the boys who said that.
TA: One of the boys, yeah. And you see, I was from Maine, I knew better than that, you
know, the big Franco population here in this state. I mean, I pretty much understood that Ed
Muskie had been elected with strong support from the Franco-American community.
DN: Did you get any other reactions of note in your campaigning for him on those weekends?
TA: I just don't remember. I mean, that's the one incident that just sort of, that jumps out at
me. But I remember feeling that, it's tough; by then McGovern was kind of rolling along. And I
remember, you know, in the circles that I was traveling in, there was a, you know, the younger
people and younger, and students, college and graduate students, there was a sense that
McGovern was the place to be. And I was the practical person, I was saying, “No, you want
someone who can win this election and Ed Muskie is fine in the war and you just want that kind
of stability and strength,” and so forth. But I remember having a lot of conversations in which,
you know, trying to steer people away from, I don't remember what was going on in New
Hampshire or what I did in New Hampshire. I just remember going up there a couple weekends.
DN: In that period, your father was very passionately committed to ending the war in Vietnam.
TA: He was.
DN: Did you have many discussions with him that related to Ed Muskie's position on the war,
or get a sense of how he was reacting to Muskie?
TA: I think my dad supported Muskie just because he knew him and liked him and had before
and felt he would be good on the war. My dad, by then, was for immediately pulling out. And I
remember the three of us children saying, “Well you can't just leave, you have to somehow
figure out how to do it.” And he said, “Why not, why not just pack up and go?” Which frankly,
years later, is pretty much what we did was pack up and go. And I've come to respect that
opinion now more than I did shortly, later, more than I did at the time because he, I think he, at
some level, understood that the credibility of the United States did not depend on continuing to
do something that the rest of the world thought was wrong.
DN: After you graduated from Harvard, came back to Maine and entered practice, and how
long was it before you got involved in municipal government?
TA: Well, quite a while, I mean over a decade. I came back in '74, first thing I did, a friend of
mine, a guy I didn't know at the time named Woody Jones said, we met them somehow, Woody
and Connie Jones, they're good friends to this day, and they said, you know, “We're working for
George Mitchell; we'd like you to help out.” So I wound up helping on George's campaign. I
remember writing a paper for him on women's rights, and I said, when Woody gave it to me I
said, Woody, why are you giving me, a guy, this task? He said because it needs to be done right
away and I don't have anyone else. But I always felt that probably a woman should have been
doing that paper. But I did that, and then Mike Petit got me involved in the United Way, you
know, almost as soon as I was back. I got on the board, Joe Brannigan called up and asked me to
be on the board of the Shalom House and so I was wound up pretty quickly in a variety of
political and - (cut off)
End of Interview